The new Chairman of Fermanagh Farming Society, organisers of next week's County Show, is taking up his role at a time when the show scene is thriving.
Mr. William Graham, speaking at the launch of the Fermanagh County Show, said that since 1977, the number of classes had more than trebled, as they now had 135 Schools' classes; 475 in Home Industries and 188 in Livestock.
"As the quantity has increased, so has the quality. It is clear to see that we showcase the best of the best in every section," he stated.
He described 2012 as a year of change for Fermanagh Farming Society; Lord Anthony Hamilton retired as Chairman after 20 years service, replacing Mr. Stuart Johnson as Show President and now an Hon. Life Member. Mrs Ann Orr is now the Show Manager, and William Graham as Chairman along with Deputy Chairmen, Marion Henderson and Seamus Gunn, backed by a 22-strong Management committee.
"As one of the oldest shows in Ireland; we continue to look to the future of agriculture, yet we must remember why we are here and keep the traditional aspects of the show which are so important. We are in a position to showcase locally-produced fine foods, a wide range of pedigree and commercial livestock and high quality arts and crafts. Over 200 businesses exhibit at our show to promote their products and services. We need to continue to provide an opportunity for locals and visitors from all walks of life to get up close to agriculture.
"Since 1977 I want to thank the hundreds of volunteers who give up their time and expertise to assist in the continued success of the show. To the directors and staff at Ulster Farmers Mart who put the site at our disposal which we appreciate very much. We acknowledge the role of the Press in promoting our show.," he stated.